Tuesday, June 16, 2015

No More Moral Victories

not impressed by your atmosphere
Like anyone who picks up a stupid hard sport as a child and then spends the rest of their life busting their butt at it, I want to be a good rider. I also want to be good at horse shows.

But as anyone who shows can tell you, showing is a whole different skill set from riding at home. And just like any other skill, it must be practiced.

I can't even tell you have many times I've kicked around the idea of giving up showing entirely, because with the exception of one brilliant year with Cuna, I have always, universally, sucked at showing.

so much practice
I'm the queen of moral victories. You know, "oh well it was pretty ok for a green horse" or "maybe she has ulcers" or "it was good for where we're at, which is nowhere anyone wants to be".

But you know what?

I'm sick of moral victories.

I actually want to be good at something.

The Cuna+Courage collection
It's not even that I'm a particularly competitive person--I'm not. I'm just tired of always failing for reasons, so I'm taking those reasons away the best I can.

That's why Courage and I are hitting every local inexpensive show I can get a ride to. We're doing this and we're doing it right. He's got a lot of potential. I'm an ok rider.

I want to go to a show and know that if I ride well, he and I have a chance. I want to be calm and collected. I don't just want to lose--I want to make other people beat me. (Or you know, win.) 

Me and people who won things
I'm following Tracy's tutorial and making a ribbon jar to put up Cuna's ribbons. I don't need to dwell in the past. Courage is my man now. We're going to celebrate his achievements together and be confident that we can keep building his satin collection. 

I know there are going to be plenty of disappointments and moral victories along the way, but I want actual, quantifiable success.

With no excuses.

PS I'm under no illusions that I'll win things just for showing up or that I'll beat the pros in my dressage show this weekend. That's not what this is about. 


  1. THIS.
    This is so great! I'm in the same boat as you girl, we're both ok riders with green horses and I wanna be good at the showing stuff too! You and Courage will be pros at shows before long, because he's a super special horse and you have the work ethic and talent to bring home the satin :) Best of luck this weekend!

  2. I am guilty of this too. Let's be legit good.

  3. showing really is its own special little monster lol. my goal is always to ride the most accurate demonstration of our current level of training. if we succeed at that but still don't place well - that's fine. but i agree that explaining away why we can't demonstrate our training at shows is frustrating and not really the experience i want.

  4. I've been the queen of moral victories too, especially for the first few years with Simon. I know exactly how you feel, but now I want to winnnnnnnnnnnnn. Does that make me bad? I don't think so. It does make me work harder!

  5. Really great plan! Love it. You have every right to ride like you belong there and deserve to kick butt, because you do. I also find watching people at shows helps too even if I can't attend. Groom for a calm friend or trainer and see how they keep their cool. Also love the ribbon jar. I'm going to make one too!

  6. You know, it's all about doing what YOU want to do and feeling successful because you accomplished YOUR goals. Whether it's groundpoles, 2'6" or 3'6", intro, training or grand prix.

    Anytime I'm feeling particularly discouraged, I remember this quote from Andrew Carnegie: "Anything in life worth having is worth working for."

  7. I love the phrase "make people beat you". That is awesome. And as you know, practice makes perfect! You will get this, I know it! And Courage will probably be like "What, millions of onlookers to LOVE ME? SURE THANG!!"

  8. I think its a great goal and an achievable one depending on Courage's maturity, which is clearly developing quite nicely. I view the first few shows on a greenie as "schoolings" even if they do hand out ribbons. But at some point they really are shows and you are there to do your best, and hopefully its up there with everyone else's best too.

  9. The only way to really improve is to stop accepting less of yourself and push for more. Better riders and stronger competition make us bring our A Game every time. Even at *dink* shows--> Go Big or Go Home.

    But at the same time, try to remember not to step on anyone's head to get to the top. Nobody likes 'that girl' and none of us want to be her. It's a balance, but I'm sure you can do it!

  10. Lindsey and I talked about this on our way back home on Sunday. How we thought you two were so competitive, even if there were more people in your group, you would have been at the top. I can't wait to see where you guys go together!

  11. You are going to kill it at the show this weekend!

  12. You go girl! You guys are totally legit *thumbsup*

  13. It's such a hard balance to find - the one between gutting yourself and your horse chasing satin, or just plomping around being happy with not dying. And where do you decide that the green horse can now actually try to win something?
    I do know that at our last event when I stuck my spurs in my little mare and decided that we WERE going to do well, she rose to the occasion, apparently boosted by my motivation, and pulled out the third fastest xc round of her class - amidst 31 horses mostly two hands taller than she is. Maybe that extra bit of oomph is good for them.


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